USAID fact sheet: Assistance to Nicaragua

News and Press Release
Originally published
FY 1999
FY 2000
FY 2001
FY 2002
FY 2003
Total in US$ Millions
*Includes Reconstruction Funds for Hurricane Mitch

USAID assistance to Nicaragua focuses on strengthening democracy, promoting economic growth, and improving health and education. Through funding of international and local non-governmental organizations, USAID is strengthening the rule of law and citizen participation in public decision-making, increasing jobs and income, and helping families get better access to health services and basic education. In response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Mitch, USAID added a two-year, $103.6 million program for rapid reconstruction in 1999. An additional $10.5 million, annually, in food aid promotes maternal child health activities and income-generation projects beginning in FY 2002.

Democracy and Governance: USAID supports justice reform, the strengthening of civil society, political participation, and transparency in government. The program supports modernization of legal codes and strengthening of judicial system institutions, provides grants to civil society organizations that protect human rights, assists the government and civil society to increase transparency and accountability in public institutions, and promotes citizen participation in the electoral process and support fair and transparent elections.

Increasing Jobs and Incomes: USAID support has provided 33,000 farmers with technical assistance and training aimed at encouraging crop diversification, promoting higher-value crops, and introducing environmentally sustainable farming methods and improved marketing techniques. Some 65,000 micro-entrepreneurs have received USAID-funded loans. USAID assistance is increasing farmers' access to improved grain seed, and those adopting proven technologies are earning substantially higher incomes than ever before. USAID is also supporting six biologically important protected areas through co-management agreements between the Government and private organizations. In addition, USAID is promoting improved soil and water conservation and environmentally sound cultivation practices.

Health and Education: The USAID program supports improved child survival services, increased reproductive health services, and improved nutrition for women and children. USAID support has led to major reductions in infant and child mortality rates, chronic malnutrition, total fertility rates, and increased prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. The basic education program is increasing children's access to quality schooling in urban and rural communities and in bilingual schools on the Atlantic coast. The program supports 170 model schools with teacher-developed materials and teacher training to promote innovative, quality education.

Hurricane Mitch Reconstruction and Recovery: Hurricane Mitch, which struck in 1998, was the worst natural disaster in Nicaragua's history, causing $1.5 billion in damage and killing 3,000. USAID worked closely with other U.S. Government agencies to restore lost services in the worst hit rural areas. The program provided support in health, water and sanitation, economic reactivation, education, disaster mitigation, and local infrastructure.

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